Red blood cells are absolutely essential in emergency situations, especially red blood cells that are type O and B. These red blood cells can mean the difference between life and death for trauma victims and those undergoing surgery. Red blood cells are also used to treat people with certain types of cancer and sickle cell anemia. Because red blood cells are so essential, they are the most needed blood component.

During a Double Red Blood Cell (DRBC) donation, we take just your red blood cells, returning your platelets and plasma. Mass General’s Blood Donor Center uses the state-of-the-art ALYX Collection system, which allows you to donate two transfusable doses of red blood cells in one donation visit.

Donating DBRCs takes only 15 minutes more than a whole blood donation. You should expect the entire process from check-in to refreshments to take just about one hour.

After donating red blood cells, you cannot donate any additional blood components for 16 weeks.

Read the double red cell donation eligibility guidelines.

To make an ALYX donation, please call 617-724-9699 or email